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New ‘Civil War’ Trailer Reveals No New Clues, But …

Director Alex Garland shares what powers his incendiary tale of two Americas

Credit where credit is due.

We’ve now seen two trailers for director Alex Garland’s “Civil War” and still don’t know much about the movie.

The setting is both clear and unsettling. America is at war with itself, and not a Cold War or one waged on social media.

Guns. Bullets. Tanks. Bloodshed.

The just-released second trailer serves up more of the same.

Civil War | Official Trailer 2 HD | A24

Kirsten Dunst stars as a journalist caught up in the maelstrom, while “Parks & Recreation” alum Nick Offerman plays a rattled U.S. president.

The film’s marketing team is keeping everything else off screen, ginning up massive curiosity in the process. It’s reminiscent of the “Barbie” campaign last year that focused on beauty, beautiful people and every shade of pink.

We didn’t know the story in play until we settled into our seats.

Except Garland just shared something critical about “Civil War” with Empire Magazine. It might be the worst thing possible about the dystopian thriller.

It’s a tribute to, wait for it, journalism.

“Journalists are vilified, often, by all sorts of different people. By politicians, by the public. It’s not necessarily a side of a political spectrum,” the director explains. “And the truth is that if you want a government with checks and balances, you need journalists. In the inferences within the film, one of them is an inference about journalists, and about how important they are.”

He’s right. Cultures need journalists to speak truth to power, to hold politicians accountable when they behave badly. That applies to more than just the political sphere, of course.

Think the military, academia, Hollywood and Big Pharma.

And, on all counts, Garland’s timing couldn’t be worse.

The public’s trust in mainstream media outlets continues to crater and for very good reasons. The modern journalist is more often than not cartoonishly biased if not corrupt. They ignore critical stories and make others up from whole cloth.

  • The Russia collusion hoax
  • Nick Sandmann
  • The Hunter Biden laptop

And, in recent days, journalists have admitted to burying news that President Joe Biden is suffering from an age-related mental decline.

Is this the right time to honor journalism? Absolutely not. Artists should be excoriating the once-great profession, shining a cultural light on its tragic decline.

There’s another angle to consider.

Will journalism be a key part of “Civil War,” or just a talking point Garland is feeding the media to promote the project? Artists often go off on tangents during the promotional process, their views not necessarily tied to the film or TV show in question.

Still, Dunst appears to be the film’s protagonist, and progressive Hollywood seems disinterested in holding shoddy journalists accountable.

Unless they lean to the Right.

Jon Stewart on Tucker Carlson’s Putin Interview & Trip to Russia | The Daily Show

Garland’s comments also suggest there’s more on his mind than just a cool action movie with guns a-blazing. We may have to wait until April 12 when the film opens wide in theaters to learn the whole truth.


  1. And I’m sure the antagonist will be someone who’s name is something like David Lamp, and his followers will wear red hats and camo and look at Persons of Color ™ askance and ask, “where you from boy?”

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